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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-12-14
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From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>
 PM to attend Papadopoulos funeralGreek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis and Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis on Monday will attend the funeral service in Nicosia of former Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos, who died on Friday in the island republic's capital. Main opposition PASOK party leader George Papandreou, Popular Orthodox Party (LA.OS) president George Karatzaferis and a delegation of the Greek parliament will also be present at the funeral services.
On Friday, Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis said he was satisfied with the decisions reached by European leaders for dealing with the global economic crisis, during the summit meeting held here on Friday. On domestic issues, meanwhile, he again appealed for an end to "acts of blind violence that have recently rocked Greece".
"Our general principle is to help those that need it, preserve our developmental potential and protect jobs and real incomes," he said in a press conference after the end of the European leaders' summit, reporting on the results of the meeting.
He stressed that the European Council, under an exceptionally successful French presidency, had managed to adopt a united stance on coping with the repercussions of the crisis.
The fiscal measures by EU member-states would be in accordance with both the flexibility provided under the Stability Pact and with the Lisbon Strategy targets, he added.
In terms of the Greek economy, Karamanlis said that it was holding up better than several others in Europe and that the Greek government had acted quickly and directly. He stressed that the Greek programme for dealing with the crisis was among the first approved by Brussels and that measures and actions for dealing with repercussions of the crisis would continue, chiefly in the direction of supporting small and medium-sized businesses.
At the same time, the prime minister underlined that short-term measures were not as important as continuing planned structural reforms based on a comprehensive plan.
Greece's greatest problem continued to be the huge public debt created over the last 30 years, the reduction of which required long-term policies, he added.
Karamanlis hailed the decisions taken at the European Council for combating climate change, adding that there had already been an in-depth discussion with the environment ministry on the Greek side, regarding the measures that will have to be adopted.
The Greek premier also welcomed a decision by Ireland to hold a new national referendum for the approval of the Lisbon Treaty within the coming year.
PM on rioting, protests in Greece
Replying to reporters' questions about the unrest and demonstrations in Athens and other cities throughout Greece over the past six days, since the shooting of a 15-year-old boy by a police officer in Exarhia the previous Saturday, Karamanlis stressed the need to put an immediate end to "acts of blind violence".
He stressed that these were extremely dangerous, both for society and for democracy.
Noting that the government was aware of the pressures that young people had to contend with, the Greek premier nevertheless underlined that the "exploitation of their anxieties by extreme elements must stop".
The sympathy with which the government viewed the concerns of youth should not be confused with blind violence and the actions of extremist groups targeting democracy, he said.
Karamanlis called on all political forces in Greece to decisively condemn acts of violence and said that there should be no ideological backing for extreme elements turning against democracy.
Asked whether he still considered the government's mandate to be strong, in light of its slim majority and the recent events, the Greek premier underlined that he did not intend to step down or call early elections.
"The country has a strong government and its strength is not measured by the number of MPs but by the reforms that it carries out," he said, adding that Greece was now up against a great economic crisis that demanded consistency, a responsible policy and "a firm hand at the helm."
On questions regarding the suspect land swaps between the state and the Vatopedi Monastery, Karamanlis noted that on a major issue that had unfolded over the last 10 years, the state had obviously not worked in the way that it should.
"Objectively, the state bears responsibility," Karamanlis told reporters, adding that he would wait for the findings of the Parliamentary investigation committee to be released before stating his position.
 Greek envoy meets with Kissinger, Albright; FYROM 'name issue' discussedWASHINGTON (ANA-MPA / T. Ellis) -- The Greek ambassador to the United States, Alexandros Mallias, met over last few days with former US Secretaries of State Madeleine Albright and Henry Kissinger.
Greece's upcoming Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) chairmanship and the prevailing situation in the Balkans were reportedly discussed during the meetings. Moreover, Mallias briefed Albright on the latest developments in the still-unresolved FYROM "name issue" as well as Greek-Turkish relations.
Kissinger received Amb. Mallias at his office in New York City, with talks also, at one point, touching on the FYROM "name issue". The renowned former US Secretary of State reiterated his publicly stated view that Greece has historic rights over the name "Macedonia".
 Strike expected to affect archaelogical sites on Mon.Archaeological sites in Athens, including the Acropolis, as well as the White Tower in Thessaloniki, will remain closed on Monday due to a 24-hour strike called by a union representing culture ministry employees, in demand of pay hikes and other institutional claims.
 FM: Gov't will continue its courseForeign Minister Dora Bakoyannis, one the highest-profile Cabinet members of the government, was quoted by the German magazine "Der Spiegel" -- in its upcoming edition this week -- as emphasising the need to differentiate between reactions over the police shooting of a teenager last week in Athens and opposition to the government reforms.
"Reforms cannot wait. Greece needs investments and secured job spots. We need privatisations and reforms in the education sector; deep reforms without reactions from those affected don't exist," she was quoted as saying.
According to Bakoyannis, the former mayor of Athens, the Karamanlis government retains its ability to act, while there is no issue of its resignation or an early election.
"Elections took place a year ago, and we Greeks know exactly what we want; and we know reforms are necessary. The government must continue its work if we want our economy to reach the level of the EU," she added.
Bakoyannis also charged that the risk of such a tragic incident occurring were dangerously heightened due to stepped-up clashes of late between self-styled anarchists and police, while she referred to the former as "a group of people with an ultra-leftist ideology".
Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis
 Dep. FM meets SAE leadersDeputy Foreign Minister Theodoros Kassimis on Sunday expressed his satisfaction over the work done in the last two years by the World Council of Hellenes Abroad (SAE), speaking during a meeting with the SAE's presidency, on the sidelines of the organisation's meeting in Thessaloniki.
"I am very proud for all Greeks working on the SAE council, because they succeeded in approaching our organisations to cooperate with us and expatriates," he said.
The minister was also asked about the issue of expatriates' right to vote from their place of residence, where the deputy FM noted that the right is foreseen in the constitution
"Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis has announced the government's intention to table in Parliament a draft bill in order to implement the decision. We have already discussed the bill with the opposition but we haven't reached a common solution ... With the new year, we will be able to proceed with a final discussion so that the bill comes to Parliament."
Kassimis also met privately with the coordinators of SAE's youth wings.
Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of Deputy Foreign Minister Theodoros Kassimis
 Greek Superleague resultsOlympiakos Piraeus remained atop the Greek Super League football standings over the weekend even after dropping two points in an away game on Saturday against Larissa, 1-1. PAOK Thessaloniki closed in on the first-place club with a slim 1-0 victory at home on Saturday
In other results over the weekend:
ASTERAS TRIPOLIS - IRAKLIS THESSALONIKI 1-2
LEVADIAKOS LIVADIA - PANTHRAKIKOS KOMOTINI 2-0
THRASYVOULOS ATHENS - PANIONIOS ATHENS 1-3
PANATHINAIKOS ATHENS - PANSERRAIKOS SERRES 3-0
ARIS THESSALONIKI - AEK ATHENS 1-1
ERGOTELIS CRETE - OFI CRETE 1-3
Standings after 14 matches
ASTERAS TRIPOLI 14
Caption: An OFI player holds the ball while an Ergotelis defender attempts to tackle him on Sunday 14 December at the Pankrition Stadium of Crete outside Heraklion city on which both teams are based.ANA-MPA/STEFANOS RAPANIS
 Leftist leader dismisses criticismThe leader of the Coalition of the Left (Synaspismos) Alexis Tsipras on Sunday called an unscheduled press conference where he decried what he called "slanderous" statements against the recent protests by youths in the country, referring to a small minority's actions leading to ęcatastrophic tactics".
In response to press questions regarding the ubiquitous hooded individuals that cause disturbances at many otherwise peaceful rallies and demonstrations in the country, Tsipras said that "Synaspismos and its affiliated Parliamentary group, SYRIZA, are in an ideological conflict with the hooded gangs, because violence brings forth violence and leads to an impasse..."
Tsipras also presented six proposals "... to unite the majority of our society and give to youth and citizens a positive prospect for struggle," he said, adding that "youth movements must reach a victory and positive achievements".
The leftist leader also announced that Synaspismos' proposals will be presented to President of Republic Karolos Papoulias.
Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of Coalition of the Left (Synaspismos) Alexis Tsipras
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